The Enneagram and My Faith

As I am pondering who I am during this time in my life, I am reminded by the author of the book, The Enneagram Type Three, Beth McCord, who’s I am. On my Facebook page I list all the different roles I play in life, the first one being Child of God. It’s what I came into existence as first, and plan to leave with it someday. So when I look at all my flaws, I have to remember that those flaws, along with all my strengths, are exactly what God intended me to have. Sometimes my flaws are a strength. Sometimes my strengths are my greatest downfalls too. I believe the Enneagram is going to help me leverage my self improvement.

When I say I want to become a better version of me, it’s not that I am saying I’m a bad person or not good enough, as I am right now. I’m not saying somehow God made me “less than”. But rather, I’m saying I’d like to hone the gifts I’ve been given by God. I want to use what I have been given to the best of my abilities.

Learning to use all my gifts through the Enneagram

If you look around my room, you can see that I have many pieces of art that I have made myself, and they are all based on scripture. They are there to remind me constantly that God is always present in my life, even when I don’t acknowledge His presence, and that He always has my best interest in mind. One more piece I need to make and hang, maybe above my TV, is something to remind me that God cares, not just about my physical actions or words, but that He is always looking at my heart, seeing what my motives and intentions are. Maybe I can incorporate my Enneagram type into the art. hhhmmm…

1 Samuel 16:7 RSV

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

When I first was presented with the concept of the Enneagram, I was in a secular group. And I’m not going to lie, I questioned if it was something I should be dabbling in. It seemed a little on the “woo-woo” side. I was really interested in the information! I love learning about my natural self and why I do what I do – and why others do what they do. And I love learning things like this so I can change my behavior to get YOU to do what I want you to do. Pretty selfish, huh? Well, but is it? Because it’s MY behavior I am initially changing.

For example, with my volunteers I work with, if I better understand what motivates them, I can change how I approach them so they feel more appreciated and cared about… and therefore are willing to a better support system our movement. I was very much in love with my boyfriend, Mark, and I fully know that I am super selfish and well, I didn’t want to lose him. I wanted to change anything in my behavior that might push him away. So this was super interesting to me.

As I do with anything I am super interested in, I dove in head first and ordered two more books about the Enneagram, and the workbooks that went with them, and started reading/listening to them on Audible. What a relief when I found that the Enneagram is actually a tool to help a person understand who they are in Christ and give some insights and direction on dealing with our physical self. One of my favorite ministers, Dr. Larry Hostetler, often said “We are spiritual beings having a physical experience. This tool helps me understand “me” and how God made me and maybe even WHY He made me this way.

Genesis 1:27 RSV

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them.

When I understand me, I can then better understand you. I can understand where you are coming from. I can empathise with you and your perspective. I can feel comfortable in accepting our differences. I think it’s a great benefit to be able to do these things. I believe it will cut down on the amount of conflict between people or ideas. I believe it will open the doors to efficient productivity. I believe it will make the difficult conversations a little easier.

Something with myself that I have really wanted to change in general is how annoyed I get when I have to interact with someone that clearly doesn’t know what they are doing. Know what I mean? For example, when I applied for unemployment due to being furloughed thanks to this whole COVID-19 thing, I was initially denied benefits. Boy howdy, was I ever angry about that. I mean, seeing red and feeling my blood pressure up, mad. I contacted my HR department, asked what they suggest I do, and searched the internet for options. HR came through for me and told me how to file differently to get approved. I did. And I got approved. It took about five days to get things squared away. During those five days, I was angry. The anger I felt was a complete waste of emotion and energy.

I HATE it when I over react. I want to learn how to stop myself from getting “wasted angry” like that. My friend Jill is very good at not responding as such to similar things. She knows it doesn’t do any good and she simply moves into “how do I fix this” mode. She bypasses the anger. I want to do that. I may never get as good at it as she is, but I sure want to try. I think I’d be a better self if I did.

Philippians 4:13 (RSV)

I can do all things in him who strengthens me.

Another thing I would like to do differently is to learn how to relax. I mean REALLY relax. I have such I hard time not being productive. And it really is hard for me to unwind and go to sleep at night. I have tried and tried to teach myself how to meditate to help me unwind. It’s still a challenge. My mind wanders into 15 million directions, thinking about all the things I need to get done. And like a little cloud, I let the thought float on by… and right behind it is the next little cloud, and the next and soon there’s a full on storm rolling though.

I’d also like to be content, no, not just content, but HAPPY being single. I wish I didn’t desire to have another half to my life. You know, a boyfriend or husband. I am more than capable, now, of living on my own. So WHY do I want someone to share my life with? …anyway…

Life is a better journey with the Enneagram

I also wish I was better at saving money. If I’ve got it, I’m going to spend it.

It’s a journey, right?

I did start seeing a counselor about 6 months ago to try to look at these things and, well, Mark dumped me and so our sessions got side-railed by that and then I moved and we are in lock down so finding a counselor here has been put on hold. Which is kinda why I started this blog. It’s a place for me to sort things out and see what sense I can make of these things. It’s also a place to open myself up for feedback and perspective from others. So be sure to leave me comments so I can continue to grow.

The great news is, I know I can enjoy this journey because I have God on my side. He’s given me great friends and family to love and support me. I have always felt loved. Best of all, I have Jesus always walking by my side.

If you would like to find out what type you are in the Enneagram, you can take a free test on the Energy and the Enneagram website. I recommend the shorter one. Be sure to comment with your Enneagram Type so I can learn to better interact with you too!

One last leg…

I got to sleep in Aimee’s old room last night. It’s so cutely decorated!! It was so comfortable! When I get my own place I do have to buy a bed and THAT mattress on that bed is what I am going to buy! I felt like Goldie Locks in the Three Bears story and that bed was “just right”. I slept so good! I didn’t want to wake up when my alarm went off. I was tied from all the excitement the last 2 days getting here! I was excited last night and couldn’t fall asleep right away when I went to bed. But none of that mattered. Kelly and Randy were still going into work and I needed to get on the road and on to my final stop – my friend Jill’s house in St Charles, MO.

I tried to stay behind, but Michele came back for me!

I got all my stuff gathered up, asked Randy about where to get gas, plugged in Jill’s address and was off! Because of the direction I parked the truck last night, I had to circle the neighborhood a little bit. Boy was I glad I did! I realized I forgot Tyson!! He was up on the mantle in Kelly and Randy’s living room. Good thing I remember or I would have been super sad!! I circled back around and pick up my little buddy and THEN I was on the road again!!

Randy said the QuikTrips seemed to have the best fuel prices right now. Randy and Kelly both work for FedEx. I trust their knowledge of fuel prices around town! I stopped for gas and a new diet pepsi at the QuikTrip in Tulsa OK. It was still over cast, and it made me a little sleepy. But I was excited to get on the road and on to Jill’s house.

Half a tank of gas later, a few phone calls to my friends and it was time to stop again.

It seems like all I did was get gas, listen to books on Audible and snack. I brought so much food I didn’t even make a dent in everything!! Anyway, I stopped at the I got the TA Truck Service and got the cutest toys for the grandkids!! If you see them, don’t tell them, but while I was in there I found the cutest Hillbilly Cell Phones. It was the cutest little thing and Bentli, my grandson is just convinced that at the ripe old age of 8, he needs a cell phone. Mind you, this child has been Facetiming me in the middle of the night, when he wakes up from a bad dream on his iPad since he was 2. Yes, I said 2. Sweetest calls ever. And I cherish those. Anyway, I think they will make fun birthday presents so I get one for him and one for Brooklynn, my granddaughter, who is also 8. More on them later.

Love’s Travel Plaza Rolla, MO. mcDonald’s

I was starting to not feel so great. I thought maybe it was because I hadn’t really had any meat for nearly 3 days. I did have my peanut butter sandwiches yesterday and the day before, but no meat, like beef or chicken or fish. So I thought I would try to find somewhere that I could get a burger or chicken nuggets. The drive throughs were open, but I couldn’t pull my 10′ truck with a car in tow through the drive through.

It’s a real concern for these truck drivers too. Even the “restaurants” in these truck stops were at bare minimum. I felt bad ordering a meal from there for fear what if they ran out for the truck drivers. Anyway, I was thrilled that the Loves in Rolla had a McDonald’s that had a lobby open. I went in and got a burger. Of course, with my dumb stomach, I could only eat about 1/2 the burger and then I felt like throwing up. I’ll tell you more about my dumb stomach another time.

I was back on the road and I was just sooooo tired. I didn’t want to stop because I wanted to just get to Jill’s. So I called my mom to talk to her and try to stay awake. It just wasn’t working. I had to stop at Dottie’s Family Restaurant and park over in the truck rest area there and nap for about an hour.

I initially thought it was because my siblings had kept me up late the last 2 nights and I was up so early to get on the road and continue my journey. But in reality, it was that I was coming down with pneumonia. I had this sharp pain in my left lung when I breathed in. I get it about every year. Usually with a nasty cough. And I get a chest x-ray and am told I have pneumonia and bronchitis. With all this COVID-19 stuff going around, I didn’t want to bother anyone with my ailment.

Anyway, I took about an hour nap and felt so much better and was able to get back on the road again. Did I mention it was POURING down rain! Like so bad there were times I couldn’t really see the road all that well either. I was hoping the rain would let up while I slept, but it didn’t. It always seems to rain when I move.

Made it!

I continued to listen to my books, snack on my snacks and before I knew it, I was finally to Jill’s house!! Yay!!

I have known Jill since about 7th grade. I am so thankful to be at her house for this brief time so I can find an apartment of my own and start my new leg of this journey I call life.

It’s the first day of the rest of my life!!

The journey begins…

O-dark-30 and away we go!

I was so excited and nervous all at the same time so I woke up around 4:30 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. My mom had already been up for a few hours.

After laying in bed for awhile, I decided I might as well get up and get on the road. Today was going to be my longest day. Not only time and distance wise, but terrain wise as well. Between Phoenix, AZ and my first stop would be mountains and snow. Yes, I said snow. Even though it is the end of March, the high country was getting snow.

I got up and loaded the last of the snacks, cooler and my travel companion, Tyson the Peacock, into the front of the truck and we were off.



First stop, ice for the cooler!

But first, I needed ice for my cooler to keep my soda cold. Priorities, right? So I stopped at the Cobblestone Gas Station at the corner to “fill up”. I had Diet Pepsi and Sprite Zero packed. And some string cheese and 6 peanut butter and strawberry jelly sammiches my mom made me. And…

My mom pulled up next to me in her truck. I forgot my Trulicity in her fridge… She remember and brought it to me. Mom’s always have our backs, no matter how old we are.

So I got the ice and a large Diet Pepsi and hit the road. Next stop, Payson, to say good-bye to Denise.

Payson is a better/sweet for me.

Payson is sweet because Denise lives there, first and foremost. Denise and I have been friends for 24 years. We worked together at ExecuTrain. She was a trainer and I ran the front office. We hit it off right away and have not stopped being an important part of each other’s lives ever since. We have had some great times. I’ll reminisce about those times in another post.

Payson is bitter because Mark, my ex-boyfriend who just dumped me and started this whole journey, and I spent a good amount of time RVing there. We had so much fun there. We stayed in Houston Mesa a few times. That’s where he told me he loved me for the first time. We stayed in Rye, and my friend Anita and her husband, Steve, came up and stayed with us. We tooled around the different thrift stores and shopped and enjoyed a few dinners out. And we stored the RV for a number of months at Patriot RV and Boat Storage.

It was so much fun for me. Great memories.

And now to realize it was all fake, it’s so hard to be in that space.

I feel betrayed, fooled, foolish for falling for it all. I feel frustrated. I feel like I can’t trust my instincts anymore. Aggravated, disappointed. So many things. When I drive through Payson, everything reminds me of the happy times and I miss those happy times and I am pissed I am not going to have them again.

So here comes the emotional journey part.

It’s OK for me to miss the happiness we had together. It’s OK to want that in my life. It’s OK for me to be sad about the end of our relationship.

I didn’t see it coming.

I keep going over and over and over in my head EVERYTHING. What did I miss? What did I do wrong? What should I have done differently? I honestly can’t think of a single thing.

And he says I didn’t do or not do anything to cause this. He just wants to live alone. Not to divulge too much personal information about him, but he does have some issues and quit possibly it really is him and not me. Is that my ego embracing that?

I am on a journey to become a better person all on my own accord. I started seeing a councilor about 6 months ago to help me work on some of my own things I’d like to do better. It was really great to have an established relationship with a councilor when all this went down. He really helped me work through a lot and fast.

My councilor and I talked about maybe Mark was going to hold me back. Maybe God put it on his heart to let me go now so I could soar to new heights on my own tomorrow. Who knows. I know I am still sad some days and I know it’s OK to still be sad some days.

I also know I am just fine on my own, and for once in my life, don’t feel the urge to find a new boyfriend.

So I made it to Payson, AZ and said good-bye to Denise and Sage, her beautiful Great Pyrenees. I told her, it’s not “good-bye”, but rather “see you later”. We already have a trip planned for the end of May – Lord willing we can travel by then!

She gave me a bag with some toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant wipes and fancy hospital grade blue gloves. All so I don’t pick up a bug on my trip. She is so thoughtful. I love her dearly!

Gas stop!

My next stop would be for gas at Circle K just outside of Payson right on highway 260. It was actually Denise’s idea to take a picture of Tyson everytime I stopped and post it on Facebook with a note of where I was at. That way, if I disappeared along my trip, everyone would know where I was last and know where to start looking for me. Pretty smart if you ask me.

I never let my tank get under a half a tank of gas, and that was about all I could go without needing to empty my bladder either. So Speedy’s Truck Stop was my next stop in Lupton, AZ.

I have to say, I was really thankful the price of gas went down so low for this trip. Gas was $1.98 here.

I’m pretty picky about where I sit to relieve myself too. I can’t stand a dirty bathroom. When my ex-husband, Chris, and I were moving from Phoenix, AZ to Green Bay, WI, I would only stop at truck stops or McDonald’s. Regular gas stations were out of the question. They are NEVER clean enough. Anyway, you will see a theme to my bathroom/gas breaks on this trip too.

My last stop was in Santa Rosa, NM. Let me tell you about that whole mess!

So I pulled off Highway 40, and got on my phone to look up a Wyndham Hotel. You see, as much travel as I did for work, I had accumulated enough points to stay for one night free. Yay!! So, the Wyndham App said there was a room available at the Travelodge, so I booked it. And then I hit the Directions button to get directions to said hotel I had just booked.

The map app took me to the Travelodge in Vaughn, NM. It was a 41 minute drive away from the highway. First, I can’t find the hotel. So I call and a very unhappy person answers the phone and basically makes me feel like an idiot because I didn’t see the tiny sign hidden behind the diner as I came in. When I do get there, and see a sign that says to check in at the diner. Now, mind you, we are under quarantine because of COVID-19 and most restaurants are closed. So I go in the diner.

I let the gal at the “front desk” know I’m here to check in. She asks my name and proceeds to tell me I don’t have a reservation. I show her my phone with the confirmation. She continues to tell me she doesn’t care what my phone says, it’s not in her computer. We go back and forth. I’m trying REALLY hard not to come unglued. I’m hungry, I’m tired from driving for 10 hours, and I can’t stand rude and incompetent people. I’m a 3w4sx. It’s just who I am. Again, something I was trying to work on with the councilor for I got derailed. She tells me theirs nothing she can do and to call the app because it’s their mistake. So I hit the Call button on my confirmation and get connected to a very pleasant person, tell her the situation and she proceeds to tell me I’m at the wrong Travelodge and she has my reservation at her location. I find out where that location is and leave the awful place I was standing. Thank God!!

45 minutes later, 4 minutes from where I had exited the highway is a beautiful, pleasant little Travelodge with a room that has my name on it. I was so thankful the lady at this front desk was so pleasant and kind. I told her of my terrible experience and she was appalled that anyone would treat any customer that way. I was too. Anyway, she got me checked in to my room.

All set and ready for bed!

I got into the room, got a nice hot shower. Made a few phone calls to let a few people know I had made it here. Talked to my sweet sister, Kelly, for about 2 hours and then sacked out.

While talking to Kelly, we discovered I had driven further than I thought and I would make it to her house by tomorrow night. I was thrilled!!

What a great first day of my trip!! One down, two more to go! I got this!!